Calculating the costs for delicate decision-making


Henrik Stener Pedersen

Henrik Stener Pedersen

T: +45 5161 8124

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In a multidimensional masterplanning project, socio-economic experts from Ramboll Management Consulting analyse the total societal costs of environmental related issues in the multimillion city of Jeddah. Along with intense environmental studies this forms a decision maker’s manual to prioritising future initiatives.

How to improve the environmental and social conditions in our region and become a country role model

Every day leaders and government bodies around the world are faced with tough calls and delicate decision-making. A particularly challenging question awaits the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment in Saudi Arabia who are to oversee and select among a comprehensive series of engineering, environmental and social activities in the region of Jeddah.

Ramboll has been called upon to perform an immense Environmental Impact Assessment and an Environmental and Social Masterplan. A Ramboll-team of 40 specialists within e.g. environment, urban water and socio-economics are to conduct in-depth studies to resolve current and future environmental problems resulting from previous and upcoming development activities. The study’s scope will cover the required environmental and social studies in Jeddah over an area of approximately 4,600 km2.

Large scale and complex initiative

The programme will provide and cover a baseline of existing environmental conditions that will include the natural and cultural resources as well as environmental and environmentally related socio-economic problems that Jeddah is facing. The complete assessment will provide information on corrective actions in terms of prevention and mitigation of adverse impacts. 

An assessment of environmental degradation and a subsequent cost benefit analysis of alternative measures will serve as a key component in the development of the masterplan. The masterplan will focus closely on the existing policy, legal and institutional framework and will serve as a decision makers' manual in preserving the environment and will pave the way for Jeddah to become a model for environmental and social improvement for the entire Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

Measuring costs and benefits

Only 30 % of Jeddah has sewers in place. From environmental and socio-economic points of view, would it be advisable to aim for a higher percentage? And what would be the savings on health care treatment if pollution were reduced through an improved infrastructure?  

In the core of the programme are experts from Ramboll Management Consulting who conduct baseline studies and translate environmental and societal issues to the language of ciphers in order to highlight costs and benefits on a variety of possible activities. Similar studies in the Middle East have indicated that the total costs of pollution and environmental issues amounts to 3 % of the GNP indicating that improvements in this field are worth billions of dollars.

By October 2013 the programme provides the client with recommendations and an environmental degradation prevention plan in addition to a strategy for restoration and remediation. The outcome of the study will also identify additional studies and actions that are required to improve the environmental and social conditions of the region.

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